City / County Digest

CITY / COUNTY DIGEST

July 22, 2008

City to help fund UM scholarship

City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced yesterday that Baltimore will for the first time contribute to a nine-year-old University of Maryland, College Park scholarship program aimed at public high school graduates.

The $10,000 financial commitment to the Suzanne G. and Murray A. Valenstein Baltimore Incentive Awards Program marks the beginning of a long-term partnership between the city and the state's flagship university, Rawlings-Blake said. "I certainly wish it could have been more, but considering it's been eight years with nothing, I'm glad we can celebrate the start of this partnership."

Established in 2000, the program awards a full-ride scholarship every year to one graduate from each of nine city high schools. A similar program has also been established in Prince George's County, where it serves five high schools. Recipients are required to return to their high schools several times a year and encourage younger students to prepare for and aspire to higher education.

"More important than the $10,000 is the recognition of the City Council of the importance of this program to Baltimore," said UM President C.D. "Dan" Mote Jr. "This is the first time we've been invited to meet the City Council. ... This is symbolically very important to us."

Gadi Dechter

Baltimore County

Hunt Valley

Firefighter injured in McCormick blaze

A firefighter responding to a blaze at the McCormick & Co. spice mill in Hunt Valley was injured last night and flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

About 8 p.m., a fire started in the air-handling system on the roof, said county Fire Department spokeswoman Elise Armacost.

Firefighters from the Cockeysville station responded first and laid a hose line, she said. When a tower truck from the Texas station arrived, the hose got caught in the wheels and snapped against the career firefighter from the Texas station.

The firefighter suffered a "fairly serious" leg injury and was flown to Shock Trauma, Armacost said. The injury might require surgery, she added.

The one-alarm fire, caused by dust and dirt igniting in the air-handling system, was extinguished with minimal damage, Armacost said. All employees had safely left the building.

Baltimore

Northwest

Burned body found in burning vehicle

Fire officials found an unidentified burned body last night in a car behind an abandoned rowhouse in Northwest Baltimore.

Police and fire investigators were called to the 3800 block of Park Heights Ave. shortly after 8 p.m. Firefighters quickly extinguished the burning Infiniti before discovering the body in the front passenger seat.

A Fire Department spokesman said the body's gender could not be determined, and that an identification would not be made until after an autopsy. Investigators are unsure how the fire started.

Police are investigating the incident.

Brent Jones

Westport

Mixed-use project would get city aid

A mixed-use development project that could help revitalize a former industrial area along the Middle Branch would receive $90 million in city incentives under bills introduced in the City Council yesterday.

Turner Development Group and the Carlyle Group, which are building the residential project in Westport, requested the incentive package, which would come in the form of tax-increment financing. The project might also include retail and a hotel.

Under tax-increment financing, referred to as TIF, the city issues bonds to pay for roads, sewer and water lines, and other infrastructure. It repays the borrowed money with property taxes generated by the development.

John Fritze

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